The Road Less Traveled
There is a famous poem written by Robert Frost that we want to look at in part. It reads like this:
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
This poem reminds me of a passage of Scripture in Luke 10. Luke 10:38-42 tells us, “Now as they went on their way, Yeshua (Jesus) entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’”
Yeshua tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better way and it will not be taken from her. Was there anything wrong with what Martha was doing? The Scriptures tell us that we are to be hospitable and that we must serve one another. When 13 people show up at your door, it takes a lot of work to feed them. So why did Yeshua tell Martha that He was not going to stop Mary from sitting and listening to Him teach? Mary chose the road less traveled and it made all the difference.
No doubt Martha needed much help, but Mary heard Yeshua’s words and they were compelling. To her she was feasting on His Words, and Martha, on the other hand, only thought of feasting at her table. We cannot be so consumed by this world that we only think about earthly things. If Martha was just as compelled as Mary, she too would have stopped and listened to the Master’s teaching, and she would have eaten at His table. She would have seen that spiritual food is as necessary if not more important than physical food. She also would have seen that the time she took to listen to Yeshua would have been redeemed and her chores would have been accomplished. What you sow you reap. When we make time for God first, He always makes the time for us to accomplish what we need to accomplish.
Martha, like so many of us today, only knew one road, but for those who find the road least walked on, they find something more. They find the greatest gift: Wisdom. Proverbs 3:13-18 tells us, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.”
John 6: 35 tells us, “Then Yeshua declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” Maybe Robert Frost knew his scriptures for Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
How about you? Are you a Mary or a Martha? Two roads to travel, and yet only one will make the difference. You could be a faithful servant of the Lord’s, but do you stop to feast at the Lord’s table? Do you put Him first before all else? Do His words compel you to want to stop and listen and put everything else aside?
Two roads. . . why did most people take the one road versus the other? Maybe because the one road was too narrow and everyone else was walking the wider road. Maybe because they did not have the wisdom that it took to choose the better way, the narrow way, the road less traveled on.
Just some food for thought!